Social Media Monday: Outsourcing or DIY?

hootsuite

Jonathan Sweet
May 6, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Welcome to this week’s Social Media Monday, where we answer your social media questions.

You can submit questions via the comments below or by email to jonathan.sweet@boatingindustry.com.

How do you feel about an outside company maintaining your dealership’s social media?

This is a tough question. To do your social media correctly and really make an impact, you need to dedicate some serious time to it – most dealers that are really hitting it are spending at least 10 hours a week on social media. If you don’t have an in-house marketing person, it’s probably a good idea to look at outsourcing at least some of the social media workload.

The challenge is finding the right person to do that. The best provider is someone who not only knows the ins and outs of social media, but also knows the marine industry. They need to be creating content that is unique to you and reflects the image you want to put out in the marketplace.

If you do hire an outside firm, make sure you stay involved in the process. A good firm will ask for your involvement and feedback. Even if nobody in-house is doing the day-to-day of the social media, it’s important that someone is managing it to be sure it is consistent with the rest of your marketing efforts.

What about services that post during specific times that you set up? I have heard of them being used with Twitter. ­

There are several tools that offer this option, some free, some paid, such as tools from Engaged! and Dominion Marine Media in our industry, or general tools such as Hootsuite, which is the one we use here at Boating Industry to manage our social media. These tools will also allow you to track your re-tweets, mentions, etc.

hootsuiteBeing able to schedule your Tweets and other social media posts makes it easier to manage the flow of information you send out. For example, if before 8 a.m. is the time you have each day to write posts, you can set them up to go out at targeted times throughout the day. Many of these tools also offer the option of “auto-scheduling” your posts based on when their analysis shows you’ll have the best reach.

One caveat: You don’t want to just schedule and forget. There are plenty of examples of promotional Tweets that companies have sent out after tragedies like the recent Boston Marathon bombings. In many cases, it’s a case of a post being scheduled and nobody remembering to cancel it. The result is a company that looks callous and oblivious to the world around it.

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